In Memory of Firefighter Fred Monroe
“IN MEMORY OF FIREMAN FRED MONROE WHO GAVE HIS LIFE IN THE LINE OF DUTY FEBRUARY 22, 1967”
The above line is from a plaque that hangs in our meeting room with a picture of Fireman Fred Monroe. Firefighter Monroe joined the department on December 10, 1964 and was 34 years old when he died in a structure fire on Main Street. He along with a group of other firemen went into the structure to determine if the fire was out when the ceiling above gave way from the weight of all the debris laying on it. Several other firefighters were hurt during the collapse. Among those were Chief Arnold French who was severely injured with chest and abdominal injuries as well as a broken back. Three other Bolton firefighters were injured as well with various injuries and suffered smoke inhalation. Rescuers used axes, chainsaws, and hydraulic jacks to remove the debris.
On October 15, 2005 members of the Bolton Fire Department along with members of the Monroe family gathered at the Bolton firehouse for the dedication of a new flagpole and granite and bronze memorial in honor of Firefighter Fred Monroe. The marker reads “In Fond Memory of Fred E. Monroe Who Made The Ultimate Sacrifice on February 22, 1967 We Will Never Forget”
Firefighter Monroe’s name is one of the original 1,805 names placed on the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial Honor roll located at the state capital in Albany that was dedicated in 1999. On February 22, 2017 the fiftieth anniversary of his passing the members of the department gathered at the firehouse to mark the somber anniversary. Members traveled to the cemetery where Chief Butch LaGoy gave a short speech and offered a prayer, followed by a moment of silence and prayer at the memorial marker that sits at the firehouse.